There’s been horror on TV going all the way back to Thriller, hosted by Boris Karloff and Lights Out, which initially started off as radio show.
Of course, The Twilight Zone was also loaded with quite a lot of horror flavored episodes, and in the seventies there were many horror TV movies, as well as the beginnings of the horror mini-series with The Dark Secret of Harvest Home and Salem’s Lot.
We just saw the classic horror soap opera Dark Shadows turned into the Tim Burton movie, while Johnny Depp will be bringing back another small screen horror classic, Kolchak, and now there are series based on Scream, as well as two shows based on Silence of the Lambs in the works.
One is told from Hannibal’s point of view, the other from Clairice’s perspective, which as you probably guessed by now will be on Lifetime.
In fact, right as we were finalizing this story, casting for the title role of the Hannibal series was announced. The legendary cannibal will be played by Mads Mikkelsen, who was a villain in Casino Royale. Hannibal will be on NBC, and as Collider informs us, the show will be pre-Red Dragon. The man actor taking on the role that Anthony Hopkins made famous is from Denmark – he just won best actor at the Cannes Film Festival for the movie The Hunt and was also offered a villain role in Thor 2.
As series creator Bruan Fuller told Entertainment Weekly, this show is before Hannibal winds up in jail, “so he’s more of a peacock. There is a cheery disposition to our Hannibal. He’s not being telegraphed as a villain. If the audience didn’t know who he was, they wouldn’t see him coming. What we have is Alfred Hitchcock’s principle of suspense – show the audience the bomb under the table and let them sweat when it’s going to go boom.”
And indeed, as we mentioned above, there is also a series about Clarice Starling, just called Clarice, in development at Lifetime. Where it’s hard to do a horror series on TV, this could be more in a CSI / Law and Order kind of vein. Then reports hit that there’s a Scream series in the works at MTV, which is surprising because the last Scream film didn’t do well, and you got the impression fans simply aren’t interested in the franchise today.
No word just yet on how a Scream series will play itself out, and like we’ve said before, making a horror series isn’t easy. The producer of Salem’s Lot, Barry Kobrtiz, was offered to make it into a series, but turned the potentially lucrative deal down because he didn’t think you could do much with it beyond “vampire of the week.”
So a slasher series, who knows? It really all depends on how its done, much like Hannibal and Clarice will really need to deliver great shows to live up to their brand names as well.